Swimming pools are certainly a massive part of our culture. They are such an essential part of our summer that we can’t help but be jealous of those who get to enjoy their tropical surroundings every day. It would be quite a feat to look out at a beautifully decorated pool and not want to dive in!
However, safety around pools is a major concern, especially when it comes to children. In 2016, there were over 500,000 hospital visits involving pools, and about 75% of these were caused by drowning. This makes it the number one cause of pediatric death, and it continues to be a significant issue. This shouldn’t come as a big shocker to anyone, as we all know how dangerous swimming pools can be. If you’re going to be near a pool, then you need to exercise some caution.
Even adults can drown in a matter of seconds if they aren’t careful. The shockwave from a falling person in water is very powerful, and it can knock over unguarded pool fences with impunity. It also means the person drowning could suffer brain damage which would affect their behavior. Sadly, there are a lot of preventable tragedies which could’ve been easily avoided with some common sense and a little bit of forethought. For example, you shouldn’t swim if the weather is over 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and you particularly shouldn’t do this if you’re diabetic or have a cardiac condition. You should also know that ingesting large amounts of chlorine can cause digestive issues and damage to the skin.
Is Drinking Pool Water Safe?
As we’ve established, drowning is a major concern when it comes to swimming pools. This is also true when it comes to drinking the water from these pools. Besides the obvious health risks, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t drink pool water without treatment. First off, the chlorine in pool water is extremely toxic if ingested. It’s much better to let the pool water sit for a couple of hours in the pool before drinking it to eliminate this exposure. Second, untreated pool water carries parasites and bacteria which you can contract if you drink it. Finally, chlorinated water is a major source of trihalomethanes, or ‘THMs’. These compounds are carcinogenic, and they contaminate your drinking water if you regularly drink from pools without treatment. You shouldn’t consume more than 4mg of these compounds in a week, and you certainly shouldn’t let this accumulate in your body for long. It’s also best to avoid swimming if you’re on medication which could be damaged by the chlorine in the pool water. If you suspect there’s any contamination or danger, then you should contact your local health department as soon as possible to discuss the issue. They will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed for the protection of your health.
Should You Swim During Drought?
It’s important to remember that water restrictions are in place in many areas because of droughts. During a drought, it’s best to avoid all sources of water which could possibly be contaminated. Some of these include lakes, ponds, and even standing pools. Even if the water looks clean, you shouldn’t risk drinking it without taking precautions. Some of the bacteria found in standing pools could make you sick if you consume it. Also, lake water is often used for irrigation, and this means it could be contaminated with pesticides and fertilizers from nearby farms. People are also more likely to be exposed to malaria and other diseases if they swim in contaminated water, so you should avoid this as well.
How Do You Protect Yourself From Drowning?
If you really want to keep yourself alive, then you need to work on avoiding being in or near water which is connected to a pool. This includes natural bodies of water like lakes, oceans, or ponds, as well as man-made bodies of water like puddles, streams, or oceans. If you get wet or swallow any amount of water while swimming, then you’ll certainly drown. This is why it’s important to keep your head above water and not let your body go under. You should also try to stay away from isolated ponds and lakes, as these are often where the fish eaters hang out, and you don’t want to be a snack!
If you do get into trouble while swimming in a lake, then remember to keep your body afloat. The number one rule when swimming in a lake is not to go under. If you do, then it’s almost certain that you’ll drown. This is particularly important for children and adults who want to swim together. It’s best to stay in the shallows where the water is not more than a few feet deep, and this way, you’ll keep your head above water. The shallows also provide you with better visibility which could be important if you get into an accident. Also, staying in the shallows keeps mosquitoes away from you, so if you’re prone to mosquito bites, then this is a good idea. In an effort to stay cool, you could also take a break from swimming and wade in the shallows to get some of the heat out. Remember, the deeper the water, the warmer it gets, so if you stay deeper longer, you’ll definitely be warmer than if you’d swam a little bit closer to the shore. This is why the deeper you can go without getting your feet wet, the better.
In addition to avoiding being in or near swimming pools, it’s also important to be cautious while around them. If there are any cracks or holes in the surface of the pool water, then this is a sign that it’s time for you to go in. These are the places where frogs, snakes, and other creatures could be hiding, and it’s best to be wary of these animals which could be in your vicinity. It’s also important to look out for signs of water contamination. If you see any strange plants or animals near the pool, then this could be a sign that the water is not safe for you to drink. Remember, even if the water looks clean, you should always treat it with caution, and you should also contact your local health department if you have any doubts or concerns about its safety.